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4 min read

How to Start a Wine Cellar

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Tips To Create a Wine Cellar in Your Home 

Wine cellars aren’t just for the rich and famous. In fact, having your own, in-home wine cellar is both cost-effective and convenient. With a little planning and resourcefulness, unused space can transform into a perfect wine cellar for your humble abode.

The best reason to create a wine cellar is for convenience. Most people enjoy providing a variety of wines for many different occasions throughout the year. With a wine cellar, you’ll never find yourself running out at the last minute to pick up wine for your event. Rather, you’ll have a variety of wine on hand to celebrate any occasion.

Aside from being convenient, wine cellars allow you to make judicious purchases. The majority of wine sellers offer major discounts when you buy a case of wine versus a bottle. Therefore, if you find a wine you love, case buying is the smart, and cost-effective choice provided you have a place to store it.

All in all, having a wine cellar is convenient, increases your knowledge of wine and is extremely cost-effective. Here we break down the most important factors to consider when creating a wine cellar:

Where to Put a Wine Cellar

  • Basement—There are many different places to put a wine cellar in your house, but the ideal location is in the basement. Why? Because basements are usually cool and dark. The best area of the basement is in a corner with exposed foundation walls. They will keep the wine cellar cool and comfortable all throughout the year. If you are planning to build a cellar, the trick here is to keep the heat from your house out of the wine cellar. 
  • Under a Staircase—Another great spot for a wine cellar is under a staircase, especially one going into a basement. You can easily box that area off, and the cold flooring will provide a cool area to store your wine.
  • Apartment—If you’re in an apartment, a closet near the center of the unit is best. The two enemies of storing wine are heat and light. Obviously, a closet in the center won’t have light to contend with. To solve the heat issue, keep the wine as low to the floor as possible. Cruvinet wine bars are really handy for apartments because they aren’t too expensive {about the same as a refrigerator} and fit perfectly in many spaces.

Where Not To Put a Wine Cellar

The one place to never, ever store your wine is inside or on top of your refrigerator in the kitchen. While it may look pretty, it is the worst place for a makeshift wine rack or cellar. Remember the enemies we are dealing with here are light and heat. Your kitchen is usually the brightest and warmest room in your home. Heat from the refrigerator motors and heat from your kitchen rises, so storing wine on top of the refrigerator or anywhere up high would be like keeping your wine in a warm oven. In contrast, wine should not be stored for long spells in refrigerators either because they are too cold. Wine is best stored at the ambient temperature of the earth, which is about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Never Make Wine an Investment

Wine is only a good investment if you plan to liquidate it at your dining room table. If you’re planning to buy it to resell, go to the stock market, buy jewelry, or buy anything but wine, because no pun intended – it’s not very liquid. You either have to have a license to sell it or go through a licensee to sell it. Even if you can sign it to auction, it will be problematic because you will only get about 80-85% of the auction price. The rest is the premium that you’ll have to pay the auction house. Always remember, wine is never a good investment. Rather, invest in good times and even better memories by enjoying the wine with family and friends.

The most important thing to remember when starting a wine cellar is to not be intimidated. Anyone, anywhere can create a wine cellar pretty easily. All you need is a nice cool and dark place to store the wine. Also, keep the wine bottles on their sides so the corks do not dry out. If you’re still not sure about how to start a wine cellar, stop into one of our Minnesota wine stores to get started. We are always happy to help select excellent wines to age in your cellar.

Already convinced? Learn how to stock your new wine cellar.

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Founded in 1934, Haskell’s has championed fine wines for over 80 years. With 13 wine stores in Minnesota, two delis and one restaurant. Haskell’s ships throughout the U.S. and delivers locally. As one of the top wine shops in North America, Haskell’s is known for legendary service and one of the finest collections of wine, beer and spirits. Led by Chairman and CEO Jack Farrell, and the Farrell family, Haskell’s continues to be at the forefront of the wine scene throughout the world.


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